Thursday, July 2, 2015

Determining Student Satisfaction of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Curriculum in Preparation for Certification Examination

G. Barry Southers, MEd
University of Cincinnati

Background: In 1989, the Advanced Medical Imaging Technology program was developed at the University of Cincinnati to formally educate students in multiple medical imaging modalities, yet no formal internal curriculum review has been performed since program inception. Further, no Magnetic Resonance Imaging curricular reviews overall were found to have been performed prior to this study. Magnetic Resonance Imaging students within the program have performed higher than the national average in both certification examination scores and pass rates over the past several years. Despite this success, as no curriculum review has been performed prior to this study, there is no scientific evidence or supporting data demonstrating the effectiveness of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging curriculum in relation to student performance on the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists Magnetic Resonance Imaging Certification Examination.

Objective: The purpose of this research study was to determine student satisfaction of the current Magnetic Resonance Imaging curriculum as students in the program prepare for the certification examination.

Methods: This mixed-method study used a self- report questionnaire and open-ended question section administered anonymously, and a video and audiotaped focus group interview, conducted with previous Magnetic Resonance Imaging students at the University of Cincinnati who completed the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists Magnetic Resonance Imaging Certification Examination. Quantitative data from the online questionnaire were analyzed using SPSS. Qualitative data from open-ended questions and focus group interview were analyzed using the content analysis hand coding method.

Results: Participants noted that while PowerPoint lectures and instructor abilities are effective in parlaying necessary information, further delivery methods may improve material retention, such as more essay questions, instructional videos, and more variety in methods of instruction. Other noted areas of success participants felt were helpful include quizzes, review sessions, and faculty dedication to student learning. Areas of curricular need include additional material and instruction in patient care techniques and vascular and cardiac anatomy, and an abbreviated overview of Magnetic Resonance Imaging safety and imaging characteristics prior to clinical rotations.

Conclusion: Implications resulting from the findings of this study could be significant additions to curricular content and modifications in instructional methodology, as well as continued use of content and methodological areas deemed successful by participants. A future consideration could be the implementation of this study’s data collection instruments, as they are of a non-program specific nature, by allied health programs whose fields require similar examinations for professional certification.